Unlike the memorials to those who died in the First World War, the Second World War memorials in Holy Trinity Church and St John’s Chapel are of a similar design. They were made in English oak, to a design by Duncan Scott, by Mr F.G.Ashby of 42 Bailey Road, who was the crafts master at Dorking Grammar School. The memorial in Holy Trinity Church is shown below:
In November 1945 members of the British Legion, Women’s Institute and the Parochial Church Council called a public meeting to plan a memorial to those who had died in the war. A War Memorial Committee was formed. Progress was slow but by November 1951 an agreed memorial had been designed and approval obtained to erect it in Holy Trinity. An appeal was sent to every house in the village to raise the estimated cost of £300. By March 1952, £126 had been received and it was decided to ask Mr Ashby to do the work.
By October 1953 the memorial was complete but the proposed site, near the 1914-18 memorial on the south wall of the church, was felt to be impracticable as it was believed an existing plaque in that position could not be moved without damaging it. An alternative position under the west window was agreed and a revised faculty obtained in time for the new memorial to be unveiled by the Bishop of Guildford on 14 March 1954.
By this time the Appeal Fund stood at £199 18s 10d. This was sufficient to meet the final cost of the Holy Trinity Memorial (£152), to pay for the complementary memorial that was installed in St John’s Chapel on 19 May 1955, and to provide an additional inscription on the stone War Memorial Cross in the churchyard.
In May 2001, as part of changes to the back of the church, the memorial was moved to its present site, alongside the 1914-18 memorial, as originally intended, the Ottaway plaque having been successfully moved and placed over the vestry door*.
The memorial comprises three panels surmounted by the words ‘IN PROUD MEMORY’, and bears not only the names of the servicemen who died in the war, but also the civilians who lost their lives as a result of enemy action. The servicemen are listed in order of rank within each service and, in the case of the Army, within regimental order of precedence. The civilians are the actor, Leslie Howard, who was killed when his aircraft was shot down over the Atlantic in 1943, and those who died when a bomb fell in Watson Road in 1944.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War the Westcott Local History Group has this year researched the lives of those who are remembered on the memorial. Their stories are produced in this book which is in loose-leaf form so that it can easily be updated when new information comes to light. The pages are in alphabetical order.
Our memorial, like others, has some errors. The headings in the book are shown as on the memorial, but where errors exist, the text explains them and records the facts correctly as we believe them to be.
The sources for this research have been the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, naval, regimental and squadron records, family correspondence and other sources.
I should especially like to thank Nick Yeomans for all the help he has given me in the research for this book. I also thank Terry Wooden who provided information about the construction of the memorial, relatives of those named on the memorial who provided photographs and the staff of regimental museums and others who have so helpfully answered our enquiries.
We hope this book will be of interest to visitors to our Church. The book’s contents are also featured on the Westcott Local History Group website for the benefit of family historians and others living further afield; we hope they will come and visit our church when they are able to do so.
(Westcott Local History Group)
We would welcome further information about the men and women named on our memorial, so that we can improve this record. We would be especially grateful for copies of photographs of them, in uniform, wherever this is possible. If you can help please contact email@example.com.